For the last seven springs, the final Saturday in April has coincided with one of the most fun events on the local road-racing scene.
The Steve's Old Time Tap Spring Chaser 5K has become renown for the event's distinctive awards, a great postrace gathering in the party capital of the Quad-Cities, and the nearly $20,000 raised over the years for the QC chapter of the American Red Cross.
The Spring Chaser takes off at 9 a.m. Saturday in The District of Rock Island, beginning on 2nd Avenue between 16th and 17th streets, and ending at the namesake's famed watering hole on 17th Street.
Packet pickup and late registration is at the Rock Island Holiday Inn's Blarney Room (near Bennigan's) from 4 to 7 p.m. today and 7 to 8:30 a.m. race day.
Each entrant receives an event T-shirt and goody bag as supplies last.
Be sure to pick up a racing chip at the starting line on race day and attach it to one of your running shoes to register a time. Also be sure to remove the chip after finishing to avoid being charged.
The top three men and women receive cash prizes. The top three age-group runners, from 19 to 70, also receive the coveted Spring Chaser Pint Glass. Competitive walkers also receive age-group awards. The awards presentation begins after the last participant finishes.
During the postrace party, wristbands must be worn by anyone 21 or older who plans to drink alcohol outside of Steve's Old Time Tap. The finish line features free beer, bananas, oranges and bagels from Panera Bread.
Free parking is available at the U.S. Bank parking lot at 18th Street and 3rd Avenue and the city parking ramp at 17th Street and 3rd Avenue. Restrooms are available in Steve's Old Time Tap and The Holiday Inn.
For more information, visit springchaser.com/run or contact Holly Sparkman (309-269-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jayna Gallegher (309-721-6378 or email@example.com).
Also Saturday: A couple of club hikes are planned.
The QC Women's Outdoor Club treks to Starved Rock Park in Utica, Ill., for a 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. hike of all 18 canyons and the waterfall at the state park.
The $35 cost includes a T-shirt and lunch. For details, visit qcwoc.com or contact the club's event's coordinator Kelly Fleener (firstname.lastname@example.org) or membership coordinator Sarah Studnicka (email@example.com).
You also can call Fleener at 309-798-9345 to get signed up for the organization's many adventures.
The Black Hawk Hiking Club also visits Rock Island's Blackhawk State Historic Site at 2:30 p.m.
Club founder John Hauberg was instrumental in establishing the site and its museum to honor the area's ties to the Sauk Tribe of Native Americans.
Located on the banks of the Rock River, this 208-acre forest has a recently installed suspension bridge to carry hikers across a small gulch to complete the loop of the lower Rock River trail.
Also Sunday: The QC Bicycle Club again participates in Iowa's Adopt-A-Highway program starting at 4:30 p.m.
For the last several years, the club has volunteered to pick up trash and help maintain a two-mile stretch of Scott County Park Road (Highway 956).
If you're able to volunteer some time, wear sturdy shoes, long pants and gloves. Volunteers are rewarded with pizza after the work is done.
Meet in the gravel parking lot west of the soccer fields near the intersection of F55 and 956. The rain date is Sunday, May 5.
Call Ken Urban for more information at 563-343-9118.
The QC Women's Outdoor Club also hosts a free "Get Your Bike Ready For Spring" maintenance clinic from 3-4 p.m.
Practice how to take off the front and rear wheels of a bike, take the tire and tube off the rim, and then put the tube and tire back on the wheel. Also includes cleaning and other maintenance tips. Weather permitting, there will be a short ride on the Duck Creek bike path, too.
Space is limited, though. For details, call or write Fleener.
Steve Tappa covers local running and cycling for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-757-4967.
Save the date
The local group High Profile Adventures is planning its "summer vacation," a June 5-9 mountaineering trip to Pike's Peak for Colorado Adventure Camp 5.
The expedition off the beaten path is not the typical “tourist activity” involving large groups sightseeing in heavily visited places.
The event is for individuals in excellent health, with a high level of fitness, interested in an active multi-sport vacation filled with challenge.
The camp includes rock climbing at Red Rocks and a visit to the famous Barr Trail, with base camp located in Manitou Springs, at an elevation of 6,412 feet.
The cost is $1,195 per adult, and $597.50 per teen accompanied by a parent, and includes three nights of accommodations in historic riverside cottages in Manitou Springs and a night at the historic Barr Camp on the slope of Pike's Peak.
Bettendorf's Gerry Voelliger and a highly trained support staff help guide participants through the hassle-free trip to Colorado's summer playground for adventurers.
The trip also includes a daily social hour; all ropes, riggings and maps; a commemorative gift and after-summit celebration hosted by Active Endeavors; instruction, insurance and a one-way railway ticket down the mountain.
Travel to and from the camp, and any other personal expenses, are the responsibility of the participant.